Emergency management officials in Vermont say the surest way to aid the relief effort in Texas is to send cash to a respected charity.
Mark Bosma, public information officer at Vermont Emergency Management, says his department has received numerous inquiries from Vermonters, asking how best to aid people affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“There are a lot of people who want to go down and help, and they have the best intentions," Bosma says. "And the advice we’re giving people is you shouldn’t go unless you’re asked.”
Bosma says self-deployment, as it’s called, could add confusion to an already complicated relief effort. And he says hurricane relief charities can generally do more with money with than with donated goods, like clothing or food.
“The best way to go about it right now is to make a monetary donation,” Bosma says. “Make sure it’s a reputable charity that you know about and has a history, and you know your money is going to be going to a legitimate enterprise that is going to actually be helping.”
Harvey has caused catastrophic flooding across southeast Texas and displaced hundreds of thousands of residents.
If Vermonters do want to volunteer their time to the relief effort, Bosma says they should affiliate with an organization before doing so.
“Volunteering with an organization ensures your time will be spent safely providing help,” Bosma says.
Vermont Emergency Management is directing people to these specific resources to find out more about how to help: